The Popular Brand Behind Costco's Kirkland Bottled Water

There's a lot of chitchat out there about the brands behind some of our favorite Trader Joe's snacks, which makes sense, considering that the chain is notoriously tight-lipped about most of its sources. But it's not the only major retailer that likes to keep its items a bit of a mystery. If you're a Costco aficionado, you've likely heard of (or tried) some of its Kirkland Signature products, which are known to be better than those produced by other knockoff brands

Since Kirkland Signature is a Costco subsidiary, you may assume that the chain produces all of its items. But that's not always the case, as the parent company has started co-branding some of its offerings (such as Canadian whisky and frozen pizza) with other major companies. To determine who makes Kirkland Signature's bottled water, however, all you need to do is look at the label. 

The source is Niagara Bottling, a California-based company that was founded in 1963. It started out delivering 5-gallon containers to houses and offices, but has since become a single-serve private label brand as well — which means that it sells its products to retailers (like Costco) that re-label them under their own brand before placing them on store shelves.

Costco's bottled water is purified with added minerals

Niagara Bottling produces a few different types of water (yes, that is a thing): purified drinking (with and without minerals added), alkaline, spring, and distilled water. Considering that Kirkland Signature's bottles say they have added minerals, we can safely assume that they're the same as Niagara's Purified Drinking Water with Minerals Added, which, according to the company's website, "has a defined mix of minerals added back" after it's purified. 

These additions are for taste only, as they provide no nutritional value. But before they get their dose of minerals, these bottles also undergo a multi-step process to sanitize and filter out impurities. Reviews of Kirkland Signature water are mixed, but overall positive. Its taste and affordable price (common to Costco products) are highlights, although some aren't a fan of the flimsy plastic bottles that occasionally leak, which Niagara says it makes in-house. 

But if you love this popular bottled water brand, you can find Niagara Bottling products at stores other than Costco. Bottles are also sold at The Home Depot, Kroger, Winn Dixie, Instacart, and Amazon. These options, along with visiting Costco in person, will allow you to purchase smaller packages — but if you want to stock up, you can get a massive 48-case pallet for $439.99 on Costco's website. And either way, now you know the face (and type of water) behind the Kirkland Signature name.